A Gender Sensitive Policy Framework for Disaster Management in Bangladesh


Ahmed, Shammi. 2019. "A Gender Sensitive Policy Framework for Disaster Management in Bangladesh." PhD diss., Victoria University.

Author: Shammi Ahmed


Bangladesh has been hit by many catastrophic natural disasters where flooding has become a recurring phenomenon. Such flooding events have particularly severe consequences for relatively poor communities and within these communities’ women tend to be more vulnerable than men. Women’s development and gender issues have increasingly gained prominence and realization of importance (King and Mason 2001). It’s been recognized that empowerment of women is essential in addressing poverty and advancing development. The governments often are, however, shy on placing priority on women’s development and welfare. This particularly applies to times of crisis or disasters, where gender concerns are argued to be a luxury that can only be addressed after the more important matters (IFRC 2006). The socio-economic context in Bangladesh has created a situation where women’s status and roles in a patriarchal society puts them in more vulnerability during the natural disaster as women face particular challenges in fulfilling their traditional roles in regard to gathering food, water, fuel; childcare, livestock as well as pursue diverse sources of income to sustain their households. Several international scholars have noted that a lack of sensitivity to the needs of women has meant that disaster relief and recovery operations have sometimes made things worse for women in the wake of natural disasters.

The research aim is twofold: First to investigate the challenges that women face during flooding events and the effectiveness of disaster relief and recovery work of government and non-government agencies and reflect on their disaster relief policies and its implications. Second, to investigate whether rural community women are disadvantaged compared to urban community women and address the gaps that may exists.

The study focuses on the experiences of women living through natural disasters in two different floodprone communities in Bangladesh; a remote rural community in Munshigonj and an urban community living in Tongi Area, within the vicinity of Dhaka. Predominantly, a qualitative methodology using case study approach was applied. Two modes of data were collected: a survey questionnaire that provided the details of economic conditions (agricultural activities) and demography of the two selected districts; individual face-to-face interviews and focus groups with rural and urban women that have been affected by the floods. In-depth face-to-face interviews were also conducted from the relief agencies as well as government employees and local district leaders.

The findings of the study show that the rural-urban divide is less important than many have predicted and that other factors such as the duration of the flood—is more significant. For example, the study found that lack of money and other resources makes it extremely difficult for women to sustain their coping mechanisms for the duration of a major flooding and the exhaustion of their meagre resources makes it hard for them to rebuild their home and their livelihoods after the flood waters have subsided. This has implications for how and when disaster relief and recovery should be delivered, and the study draws on its case study findings to suggest ways in which government and non-government disaster relief and recovery work in Bangladesh should be made more gender-sensitive.

The findings also showed that the number of agencies involved in disaster relief and recovery work in Bangladesh has multiplied in recent years and this makes it harder to ensure that consistent policies and practices are followed. Despite the participation of various organizations in disaster prevention, survival and recovery, there is absence of women sensitive policies that addresses women’s specific challenges. These findings not only have implications for Bangladesh but draws attention for international significance. Several future directions for research are developed based on the findings.

Topics: Development, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2019

Female Contribution to Grassroots Innovation for Climate Change Adaptation in Bangladesh


Khalil, Momtaj Bintay, Brent C. Jacobs, Kylie McKenna, and Natasha Kuruppu. 2019. "Female Contribution to Grassroots Innovation for Climate Change Adaptation in Bangladesh." Climate and Development. doi: 10.1080/17565529.2019.1676188.

Authors: Momtaj Bintay Khalil, Brent C. Jacobs, Kylie McKenna, Natasha Kuruppu


This paper reports a mixed-method study from 2016 in Gabura, Bangladesh examining female contribution to climate change adaptation in the period post-cyclone Aila in 2009. Out of 110 households studied, male household members were absent in 66 cases because they had migrated to nearby towns and regional centres for alternative livelihood options. Male members’ absence created opportunities for Gabura women to develop a range of novel adaptation strategies through engagement with aid agencies, changed gender roles, leveraging social capital and utilizing local knowledge. For example, women are increasingly contributing to income through works within and outside of the house in agricultural innovations and handmade productions. These adaptations are built on social capital and trust between community women and the NGOs through mobilization and sharing of local knowledge. Based on the findings, a framework for informed autonomous adaptation is proposed. The generalization of coastal women in developing contexts as passive victims of climate change due to social norms and instead highlights women’s active agencies in adaptation is challenged. There is a need for a critical understanding of gender-specific dynamics in post-cyclone aid interventions towards in-situ climate change adaptation.

Keywords: Bangladesh, women, local knowledge, social capital, gender, climate change adaptation

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods, NGOs Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2019

Impacts of Climate Change Induced Migration on Gender: A Qualitative Study from the Southwest Coastal Region of Bangladesh


Sams, Ishita Shahid. 2019. "Impacts of Climate Change Induced Migration on Gender: A Qualitative Study from the Southwest Coastal Region of Bangladesh." International Journal of Social Science Studies 7 (4): 57-68.

Author: Ishita Shahid Sams


The aim of this study is to explore the gender variation of the impact of climate change induced migration. This paper highlights the gender dimensions of climate change induced migration where gender is a vital element for determining vulnerability to climate change which influences the subsequent migration. Actually, the impacts of climate change induced natural disasters are not gender neutral because the experiences, needs and priorities of the climate migrants are varied by gender roles and position. In this research, we explore the socioeconomic impacts of the climate migrants on gender from the evidence of the southwest coastal women and men of Bangladesh. The qualitative data were collected from the cyclone-affected migrants who were migrated internally from the disaster-prone southwest coastal region and lived in the city slums of Khulna in Bangladesh. This study is described the gender differentiation between women and men in case of climate change induced migration according to social, economical, ecological, organizational, occupational, educational, and physical aspects which tend to be highly gendered. The study results show that among climate migrants, women are more vulnerable than men due to theri socioeconomic condition and gender discrimination in the patriarchal society of Bangladesh who are likely to be poorer, less educated, have a lower social status and have limited access to and control over natural resources.

Keywords: climate change, natural disaster, migration, gender, vulnerability, coastal region, Bangladesh

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Economies, Poverty, Education, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2019

Women's Vulnerability Due to Climate Change in the Coastal Area of Bangladesh


Hasan, Syed Monibul, and Md. Be-Nozir Shah Shovon. 2019. "Women's Vulnerability Due to Climate Change in the Coastal Area of Bangladesh." In Proceedings on International Conference on Disaster Risk Management, 349-54. Dhaka: BUET-Japan Institute of Disaster Prevention and Urban Safety.

Authors: Syed Monibul Hasan, Md. Be-Nozir Shah Shovon


The study has been conducted to identify the women vulnerabilities, and explore the consequences of climate change on women in Kaikhali and Ramjannagar union under Shyamnagar upazila in Satkhira district. A detailed questionnaire survey has been carried out to achieve the key objectives of the study. A total of 142 household respondents, especially women have been selected by using simple random sampling. The study has found that the important roles and responsibilities of women in the family make them more vulnerable such as food collection and preparation (85.21% as first important responsibility); taking care of the children, elderly and sick (75.35% as second most important responsibility) during and after a disaster. The tendency to save their domestic materials and animals (92.25%), not taking decisions during emergency period (86.61%) and wearing traditional sari (89.43%) are the main barriers for the women to move to a secured place during disaster. Women is highly affected by different water borne diseases during disaster such as skin disease (76% in rank one), diarrhoea (60% in rank two). The study has found that the cyclone shelters in the study area are not women friendly. The destruction of houses and homestead (94.36%), crop production loss (92.25%), and livestock death (revealed by 81.69%) affect on women’s economic livelihoods during cyclone and tidal surges. Adolescent girls are forced into early marriage (55.63%), their educational activities (89.43%) are disrupted; lactating mothers are severely affected with the lack of balanced nutrition (92.25%), and pregnant women don’t get proper health care services (75.35%) in the aftermath of a disaster. The scarcity of safe drinking water (71.84% in rank one), and lack of proper shelters (41.55% in rank two) are the most important difficulties and complications for women during post disaster.

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Health, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2019

Prevalence of Depression among Bangladeshi Village Women Subsequence to a Natural Disaster: A Pilot Study


Mamun, Mohammed A., Nafisa Huq, Zinat Fatima Papia, Sadia Tasfina, and David Gozal. 2019. "Prevalence of Depression among Bangladeshi Village Women Subsequence to a Natural Disaster: A Pilot Study." Psychiatry Research 276: 124-8.

Authors: Mohammed A. Mamun, Nafisa Huq, Zinat Fatima Papia, Sadia Tasfina, David Gozal


Women living in disaster-prone areas are at risk of developing and suffering from mental health problems, such as depression. However, this issue has not been studied previously among village dwelling women in Bangladesh. Improved knowledge of post-disaster depression rates and its risk factors could facilitate design and implementation of targeted disaster management protocols. Therefore, face-to-face surveys were conducted from September to October 2017 among 111 women in Dalbangha village, Bangladesh who survived cyclone Mora. Depression was assessed using the Bangla Patient Health Questionnaire – 9 (PHQ-9) along with relevant sociodemographics and disaster-related variables. The prevalence of depression was 64.9% and 36.9% of the women failed to receive any alert prior to the disaster. Along with a wide range of post-disaster consequences, 36.0% were physically injured, 27.9% had to be absent from work with consequent income loss, and 17.1% experienced death of a family member. Lower age group (18–30 years), being an income earner, disaster-related physical injury, and post-disaster work absenteeism emerged as the risk factors associated with depressive symptoms. In light of current findings, disaster preparedness programs and management protocols should incorporate measures aimed at palliating the risk factor elements that promote depression among vulnerable women following a disaster.

Keywords: natural disaster, cyclone, depression, risk factors, women, Bangladesh

Topics: Age, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2019

Assessment of the Status of Gender Sensitive Migration in Climate Change Adaptation Policies of Bangladesh


Jahan, I., and M. I. Haq. 2019. "Assessment of the Status of Gender Sensitive Migration in Climate Change Adaptation Policies of Bangladesh." Paper presented at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, December 9-13.

Authors: I. Jahan, M. I. Haq


Female groups of the society are always differently vulnerable to any climatic extreme condition. Climate Change induced migration and vulnerability of women in such migration are drawing attention now-a-days. Women are facing trouble of malnutrition, economic uncertainty, having no or less health care services, domestic violence and trafficking while migrating by themselves or the male member of their family. It is needed to assess that how effectively existing national policies of Bangladesh have addressed this problem. From the of policy documents found that migration is not addressed as an effective adaptation option. Policies are not developed according to needs of the females living in climate vulnerable zones. Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) 2009 merely mention migration as an adaption option but it lacks the gender dimension and further clarification. Bangladesh Climate Change Gender Action Plan (Bcc-GAP) 2013 is the only document fully concentrated in this regard. Migration of the male population focused in the Gender Action Plan, and it seems women were assumed to stay back and adapt to the climate change circumstances and work on mitigating risks. None of the following policies i.e. Environment Policy, 1992; National Environment Management and Action Plan (NEMAP), 1995; National Water Management Plan (NWMP), 2001; The National Food Policy, 2006; Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) 2009 address gender issue from climate change migration perspective. The Coastal Zone Policy, 2005; Perspective Plan of Bangladesh 2010-2021; Sixth Five Year Plan (2011-15); National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA), 2009; National Plan for Disaster Management (2010-2015) focus on the gender issue from education, health, employment, poverty reduction and disaster management perspective. But the gender sensitive migration due to climate change has been overlooked there. The policies basically focus on international migration and migration due to economic reasons, and the issue was not addressed as a climate change adaptation option in any of the policies. Migration as a climate change adaptation needs to be mainstreamed in all sectoral policies and gender sensitive migration should be emphasized.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Economies, Poverty, Domestic Violence, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Governance, Livelihoods, Trafficking Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2019

Conceptualizing Gendered Vulnerability to Climate Change in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: Contextual Conditions and Drivers of Change


Goodrich, Chanda Gurung, Pranita Bhushan Udas, and Harriet Larrington-Spencer. 2019. "Conceptualizing Gendered Vulnerability to Climate Change in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: Contextual Conditions and Drivers of Change." Environmental Development 31: 9-18.

Authors: Chanda Gurung Goodrich, Pranita Bhushan Udas, Harriet Larrington-Spencer


Not all women or all men are equally vulnerable. Manifestations of vulnerability to climate change vary in different groups of people, based on their position in a social and gender structure in a particular location and at a particular time. We need to understand the pre-existing conditions, what we term “contextual conditions” that underlie experiences of vulnerability and lead to its complexity and reproduction. This paper is based on a literature review and takes the standpoint that not only is gender a powerful and pervasive contextual condition, but that it intersects with other contextual conditions to shape vulnerabilities. Further, gender and other contextual conditions also influence and are influenced by socioeconomic drivers of change to produce differential gendered vulnerabilities. Therefore, manifestations of gendered vulnerability to climate change are the result of complex and interlinked factors, which cannot be simplified for the sake of efficiency. This paper offers a conceptual framework bringing together these interlinkages and intersectionalities in understanding differential gendered vulnerabilities.

Keywords: climate change, gender, Hindu Kush Himalaya, vulnerabilities

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Intersectionality Regions: Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan

Year: 2019

The Impact of Non-Government Organizations on Women's Mobility in Public Life: An Empirical Study in Rural Bangladesh


Nawaz, Faraha. 2020. "The Impact of Non-Government Organizations on Women's Mobility in Public Life: An Empirical Study in Rural Bangladesh." Journal of International Women's Studies 21 (2): 94-113.

Author: Faraha Nawaz


The article aims to analyse the impact of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) on Bangladeshi rural women’s mobility in the public domain, since this is an area that is generally only frequented by men whilst women are confined to their own home and neighbourhood. In other words, the author explored how and to what extent, NGOs have brought changes to women’s freedom of movement in the public sphere. The author was influenced by the existing literature that portrays Bangladesh as a country that is characterized by poverty, patriarchy and inequality, where there is no tradition of rural women participating in the labour force, and where women’s mobility is severely restricted. In this study, the indicators of women’s mobility were explored that include women’s movement in various public places such as market, medical centre, children’s schools, and cinema. By conducting series of in-depth interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), the author collected primary data from rural women and their husbands through purposive network sampling. Secondary data was collected from the contemporary literature regarding women’s freedom of movement globally in general and Bangladesh in particular. By analysing empirical data, the article confirms that rural women’s participation in microfinance program of NGOs have enhanced their mobility in different ways. However, the women who had education and training had more mobility in public life since those women utilized the benefits of NGO programs more effectively. Surprisingly husband’s education, occupation and exposure have no positive impact on women’s mobility. 

Keywords: women, mobility, education, public life, development NGOs, women's mobility, women in Bangladesh

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Education, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Livelihoods, NGOs Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2020

Improving Maternal Health Care in a Post Conflict Setting: Evidence from Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh


Badiuzzaman, Muhammad, Syed Mansoob Murshed, and Matthias Rieger. 2018. "Improving Maternal Health Care in a Post Conflict Setting: Evidence from Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh." The Journal of Development Studies 56 (2): 384-400. 

Authors: Muhammad Badiuzzaman, Syed Mansoob Murshed, Matthias Rieger


We evaluate a development programme with an important maternal health care component in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. The region and its mostly indigenous people experienced violent conflict in the past and face a constant risk of recurring conflict. Given this fragile setting, our work differs from conventional impact evaluations by incorporating two conflict indicators: the household’s actual experience of violence and fears of future violence. We find that the intervention undertaken by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) succeeded in boosting maternal health care utilisation: antenatal care (ANC) check-ups rose by 18 percentage points, while deliveries at health facilities increased by 23 percentage points. However, household experiences of violent conflict and perceptions of insecurity dampen maternal health care utilisation. Impacts on ANC check-ups are concentrated among households without experience of conflict (19 percentage points compared to 4 percentage points among households with such experience). And households without fears of violence see relatively larger impacts on deliveries at a health facility (37 percentage points compared to 11 percentage points). The programme is successful in raising maternal health care utilisation but its effectiveness has been constrained by the violence experienced and perceived by households.

Topics: Conflict, Health, Reproductive Health, Households, Humanitarian Assistance, Indigenous, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2018

Gender, Agriculture and Agrarian Transformations: Changing Relations in Africa, Latin America and Asia


Sachs, Carolyn E., ed. 2019. Gender, Agriculture and Agrarian Transformations: Changing Relations in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Abingdon: Routledge.

Author: Carolyn E. Sachs


This book presents research from across the globe on how gender relationships in agriculture are changing.
In many regions of the world, agricultural transformations are occurring through increased commodification, new value-chains, technological innovations introduced by CGIAR and other development interventions, declining viability of small-holder agriculture livelihoods, male out-migration from rural areas, and climate change. This book addresses how these changes involve fluctuations in gendered labour and decision making on farms and in agriculture and, in many places, have resulted in the feminization of agriculture at a time of unprecedented climate change. Chapters uncover both how women successfully innovate and how they remain disadvantaged when compared to men in terms of access to land, labor, capital and markets that would enable them to succeed in agriculture. Building on case studies from Africa, Latin America and Asia, the book interrogates how new agricultural innovations from agricultural research, new technologies and value chains reshape gender relations.
Using new methodological approaches and intersectional analyses, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of agriculture, gender, sustainable development and environmental studies more generally. (Summary from Routledge)
Table of Contents
1. Gender, Agriculture and Agrarian Transformations
Carolyn Sachs
2. The Implications of Gender Relations for Modern Approaches to Crop Improvement and Plant Breeding
Jacqueline Ashby and Vivian Polar
3. Change in the Making: 1970s and 1980s Building Stones to Gender Integration in CGIAR Agricultural Research
Margreet van der Burg
4. How to Do Gender Research? Feminist Perspectives on Gender Research in Agriculture
Ann R. Tickamyer and Kathleen Sexsmith
5. Intersectionality at the Gender-Agriculture Nexus: Relational Life Histories and Additative Sex-Disaggregated Indices
Stephanie Leder and Carolyn Sachs
6. Diversity of Small-Scale Maize Farmers in the Western Highlands of Guatemala: Integrating Gender into Farm Typologies
Tania Carolina Camacho-Villa, Luis Barba-Escoto, Juan Burgueño-Ferreira, Ann Tickamyer, Leland Glenna, and Santiago López-Ridaura
7. "A Bird Locked in a Cage:" Hmong Young Women’s Lives After Marriage in Northern Vietnam
Nozomi Kawarazuka, Nguyen Thi Van Anh, Vu Xuan Thai and Pham Huu Thuong
8. Defeminizing Effect: How Improved Dairy Technology Adoption Affected Women's and Men's Time Allocation and Milk Income Share in Ethiopia
Birhanu Megersa Lenjiso
9. Implementing "Gender Equity" in Livestock Interventions: Caught between Patriarchy and Paternalism?
Katie Tavenner and Todd A. Crane
10. Implications of Agricultural Innovations on Gender Norms: Gender Approaches in Aquatic Agriculture in Bangladesh
Lemlem Aregu, Afrina Choudhury, Surendran Rajaratnam, Margreet van der Burg, and Cynthia McDougall
11. Permanently Seasonal Workers: Gendered Labor Relations and Working Conditions of Asparagus Agricultural Workers in Ica, Perú
María del Rosario Castro Bernardini
12. Gender Equality and Trees on Farms: Considerations for Implementation of Climate-Smart Agriculture
Tatiana Gumucio, Diksha Arora, Jennifer Twyman, Ann Tickamyer, and Monica Clavijo
13. Kinship Structures, Gender, and Groundnut Productivity in Malawi
Edward Bikketi, Esther Njuguna-Mungai, Leif Jensen, and Edna Johnny
14. Changes in Participation of Women in Rice Value Chains: Implications for Control over Decision-Making
Sujata Ganguly, Leif Jensen, Samarendu Mohanty, Sugandha Munshi, Arindam Samaddar, Swati Nayak, and Prakashan Cehllattan Veettil

Topics: Class, Agriculture, Displacement & Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Ethnicity, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, Central America, South America, Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Malawi, Peru, Vietnam

Year: 2019


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